ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – When Bernalillo County moved into the green, the BioPark Zoo saw bigger crowds than they have in more than a year. This weekend was expected to surpass that now that Bernalillo County is in the Turquoise, and it’s Mother’s Day weekend.
The Valdez family says it’s an annual tradition to visit the zoo on Mother’s Day, but last year they were unable to carry out that tradition because the zoo was closed due to the pandemic. “Last year, I think we stayed home and had a little barbecue in our backyard,” said Krista Valdez, who was with her family at the zoo on Sunday morning.
Now that the gates are back open, the Valdez family was not going to miss their opportunity to see the animals and spend time together. “We heard you had to buy your tickets ahead of time, so we went to HoldMyTicket, and bought them, it was an easy process,” Valdez said.
Not everyone was so lucky though, KRQE News 13 crews saw multiple people being turned away at about 10 a.m. Sunday because the zoo had already sold out of their timed tickets. The zoo is allowing 600 people in every half hour. “We’re at 75% capacity, so it’s numbers we haven’t seen in a really long time,” said Allyson Zahm, with the New Mexico Biopark Society.
We talked to Zahm on Friday who said they expected a big turnout this weekend, especially for Mother’s Day. “Now that Bernalillo County is in Turquoise and we’ve raised the number of tickets we can sell, we’re expecting a lot of people to come out to the zoo,” she said.
Right now, the BioPark facilities are open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesdays through Sundays. They will return to a seven-day a week schedule starting on May 31. COVID-safe practices will still be in place.